On Kyle Fosburgh’s latest album ‘The Traveler’s Journey‘ he takes you on a steel-stringed odyssey, a journey through time exploring the beauty of the steel-stringed guitar. This is by no means a documented journey, more a celebratory one…it begins with Fandango which is derived from a Robbie Basho song of the same title. Basho was hugely influenced by classical indian music after he heard Ravi Shankar in 1962. Along with John Fahey and Leo Kottke they did a huge amount to raise the profile of the guitar and it is in that field that Fosbugh also excels.
Whether playing in American Promitive style or modal Kyle Fosburgh creates very visionary pieces. He demonstrates this really well on ‘The Redwoods‘ as he recreates a dream of flying through redwoods in California up to the sun. On ‘Journey Over Mountains‘ he heads for the Himalayas using minimal guitar taps as percussion which create an increasing sense of void.
There is a simplistic beauty to this album as you’d expect from an artist inspired by the likes of Basho and Leo Kottke but simplicity is a difficult thing to achieve with absolute sincerity when playing the guitar. For want of a better word it’s a very spiritual experience in which the player gives over their whole self to the moment…the result is measured by the enduring power of each performance and every track on this album left me feeling incredibly peaceful. After listening to the gentle and prevailing ‘The Dawning’ I was all set for heading off to the woods to allow that peace to continue on uninterrupted.
The twelve tracks that make up this abum are all faultless from the pre-war folk blues of ‘Peddler‘ to the call and response of ‘Why is it this way – It’s going to be this way‘…they leave you with a very beatific smile on your face…listening to it is incredibly immersive and a joy!